In "Doing Well Enough: Toward a Logic for Common Sense Morality", Paul McNamara sets out a semantics for a deontic logic which contains the operator It is supererogatory that. As well as having a binary accessibility relation on worlds, that semantics contains a relative ordering relation, . For worlds u, v and w, we say that u w v when v is at least as good as u according to the standards of w. In this paper we axiomatize logics (...) complete over three versions of the semantics. We call the strongest of these logics DWE for Doing Well Enough. (shrink)
McNamara, Laurence J Person-centred care is the mantra of contemporary health and aged care. Delivering such care effectively is an enormous challenge. Much effort goes into the basics of care delivery. In an era of limited resources and financial constraints the temptation arises for aged care in particular to ignore some of the non-measurable dimensions of care. This paper puts forward a range of issues that merit greater attention as we reflect on the realities of human ageing in Australia (...) today. If taken seriously, I suggest, they will contribute to the delivery and quality of person-centred care. (shrink)
Semantic priming has been a focus of research in the cognitive sciences for more than 30 years and is commonly used as a tool for investigating other aspects of perception and cognition, such as word recognition, language comprehension, and knowledge representations. Semantic Priming: Perspectives from Memory and Word Recognition examines empirical and theoretical advancements in the understanding of semantic priming, providing a succinct, in-depth review of this important phenomenon, framed in terms of models of memory and models of word recognition. (...) The first section examines models of semantic priming, including spreading activation models, the verification model, compound-cue models, distributed network models, and multistage activation models (e.g. interactive-activation model). The second section examines issues and findings that have played an especially important role in testing models of priming and includes chapters on the following topics: methodological issues (e.g. counterbalancing of materials, choice of priming baselines); automatic vs. strategic priming; associative vs. "pure" semantic priming; mediated priming; long-term semantic priming; backward priming; unconscious priming; the prime-task effect; list context effects; effects of word frequency, stimulus quality, and stimulus repetition; and the cognitive neuroscience of semantic priming. The book closes with a summary and a discussion of promising new research directions. The volume will be of interest to a wide range of researchers and students in the cognitive sciences and neurosciences. (shrink)
On the traditional deontic framework, what is required (what morality demands) and what is optimal (what morality recommends) can't be distinguished and hence they can't both be represented. Although the morally optional can be represented, the supererogatory (exceeding morality's demands), one of its proper subclasses, cannot be. The morally indifferent, another proper subclass of the optional-one obviously disjoint from the supererogatory-is also not representable. Ditto for the permissibly suboptimal and the morally significant. Finally, the minimum that morality allows finds no (...) place in the traditional scheme. With a focus on the question, What would constitute a hospitable logical neighborhood for the concept of supererogation?, I present and motivate an enriched logical and semantic framework for representing all these concepts of common sense morality. (shrink)
Biobanks for long-term research pose challenges to the legal and ethical validity of consent to participate. Different models of consent have been proposed to answer some of these challenges. This paper contributes to this discussion by considering the meaning and value of consent to participants in biobanks. Empirical data from a qualitative study is used to provide a participant view of the consent process and to demonstrate that, despite limited understanding of the research, consent provides the research participants with some (...) level of control and a form of self determination that they value. Participation is framed as a moral act of a responsible citizen providing reinforcement of self identity. Consent symbolizes the trust invested in researchers and research institutions to use the biobank for the public good. The paper argues that consent continues to play an important role in biobank participation and that a participant view should inform proposals to modify consent processes. (shrink)
John Maynard Smith was the founder of evolutionary game theory. He has also been the major influence on the direction of this field, which now pervades behavioural ecology and evolutionary biology. In its original formulation the theory had three components: a set of strategies, a payoff structure, and a concept of evolutionary stability. These three key components are still the basis of the theory, but what is assumed about each component is often different to the original assumptions. We review modern (...) approaches to these components. We emphasis that if a game is considered in isolation, and arbitrary payoffs are assumed, then the payoffs may not be consistent with other components of the system which are not modelled. Modelling the whole system, including not only the focal game, but also the future behaviour of the players and the behaviour of other population members, allows a consistent model to be constructed. We illustrate this in the case of two models of parental care, showing how linking a focal game to other aspects of the system alters what is predicted. (shrink)
In the latter half of this century, there have been two mostly separate <span class='Hi'>threads</span> within ethical theory, one on 'superogation', one on 'common-sense morality'. I bring these <span class='Hi'>threads</span> together by systematically reflecting on doing more than one has to do. A rich and coherent set of concepts at the core of common-sense morality is identified, along with various logical connections between these core concepts. Various issues in common-sense morality emerge naturally, as does a demonstrably productive definition of doing (...) more than one has to do. I then present an interpreted model-theoretic framework with the expressive power to generate truth-conditions for the core concepts, and the explanatory power to predict and explain the independently motivated logical connections between these concepts. The framework also has a certain heuristic power for 'discovering' substantive ethical theories that can derivatively generate the model-theoretic framework for the core concepts. Two theories discussed are expansions of traditional theories; two others, each giving pride of place to justice, are devised to resonate with more recent concerns. Methodologically, it is hoped that the approach within might suggest the possibility of bridging another gap: that between formal and informal studies of moral notions. (shrink)
Over the past two decades, researchers have made great advances in the area of computational methods for extracting meaning from text. This research has to a large extent been spurred by the development of latent semantic analysis (LSA), a method for extracting and representing the meaning of words using statistical computations applied to large corpora of text. Since the advent of LSA, researchers have developed and tested alternative statistical methods designed to detect and analyze meaning in text corpora. This research (...) exemplifies how statistical models of semantics play an important role in our understanding of cognition and contribute to the field of cognitive science. Importantly, these models afford large-scale representations of human knowledge and allow researchers to explore various questions regarding knowledge, discourse processing, text comprehension, and language. This topic includes the latest progress by the leading researchers in the endeavor to go beyond LSA. (shrink)
There is little work of a systematic nature in ethical theory or deontic logic on aretaic notions such as praiseworthiness and blameworthiness, despite their centrality to common-sense morality. Without more work, there is little hope of filling the even larger gap of attempting to develop frameworks integrating such aretaic concepts with deontic concepts of common-sense morality, such as what is obligatory, permissible, impermissible, or supererogatory. It is also clear in the case of aretaic concepts that agency is central to such (...) appraisal, so some agential notions must be integrated with aretaic concepts as well. The current paper takes the first step in a larger project aimed at the closure of these gaps. Here I sketch a simple framework for the aretaic appraisal of an agent's performance, layered on top of a simple framework for agency and predetermination. In Part I, I develop the framework for agency, ability, and inevitability, combining elements of work by Brown, Elgesem, Carmo, Santos, and Jones. In Part II, drawing on work by Chisholm and Sosa on intrinsic preferability, I sketch and explore a framework for defining aretaic superiority, praiseworthiness, blameworthiness, neutrality, and indifference, etc., retaining proper links to agency. (shrink)
It is shown that in a range of models, the probability that a forager dies from starvation is, to a good approximation, an exponential function of energy reserves. Using a time and energy budget for a 19g passerine, we explore the consequences, in terms of starvation and predation, of various levels of energy reserves. It is shown that there exists an optimal level L of reserves at which total mortality (starvation plus predation) is minimized. L increases when the environment deteriorates (...) as a result of a decrease in either temperature or mean gross gain or an increase in the mean search time. The effect of combined deteriorations is greater than the sum of their individual effects. At L, the probability of predation is much higher than the probability of starvation. A simple analytic model suggests that this result will be fairly general, but also indicates conditions under which the result might not hold. (shrink)
Glenberg tries to explain how and why memories have semantic content. The theory succeeds in specifying the relations between two major classes of memory phenomena – explicit and implicit memory – but it may fail in its assignment of relative importance to these phenomena and in its account of meaning. The theory is syntactic and extensional, instead of semantic and intensional.
The proposed multilevel framework of discourse comprehension includes the surface code, the textbase, the situation model, the genre and rhetorical structure, and the pragmatic communication level. We describe these five levels when comprehension succeeds and also when there are communication misalignments and comprehension breakdowns. A computer tool has been developed, called Coh-Metrix, that scales discourse (oral or print) on dozens of measures associated with the first four discourse levels. The measurement of these levels with an automated tool helps researchers track (...) and better understand multilevel discourse comprehension. Two sets of analyses illustrate the utility of Coh-Metrix in discourse theory and educational practice. First, Coh-Metrix was used to measure the cohesion of the text base and situation model, as well as potential extraneous variables, in a sample of published studies that manipulated text cohesion. This analysis helped us better understand what was precisely manipulated in these studies and the implications for discourse comprehension mechanisms. Second, Coh-Metrix analyses are reported for samples of narrative and science texts in order to advance the argument that traditional text difficulty measures are limited because they fail to accommodate most of the levels of the multilevel discourse comprehension framework. (shrink)
Rolls discusses various adaptive explanations of physiological processes and the emotions. We give a critical analysis of some of these from the perspective of behavioural ecology. While agreeing with the approach adopted by Rolls, we identify topics that could have been better presented by making use of the existing literature.
Matrix population models provide a natural tool to analyse state-dependent life-history strategies. Reproductive value and the intrinsic rate of natural increase under a strategy, and the optimal life-history strategy can all be easily characterised using projection matrices. The resultant formulae, however, are not directly comparable with the corresponding formulae for age structured populations such as Lotka's equations and Fisher's formula for reproductive value. This is because formulae involving projection matrices lose track of what happens to an individual over its lifetime (...) and are only concerned with expected numbers of descendants one time step in the future. In contrast the usual age-dependent formulae explicitly followed a single individual through from birth to death.In this paper I show how the state-dependent formulae can be rewritten to be directly comparable with the standard age-structured formulae. Although the formulae are intuitively obvious the decomposition into current and future reproductive success differs from that previously given and is, I suggest, a more natural definition. The derivation of appropriate equations for optimal life-histories relies on results from dynamic programming theory; and is much more general and easier than previous derivations. (shrink)
In 2004, the United States Sentencing Commission amended the Federal Sentencing Guidelines to allow firms that create “effective compliance and ethics programs” to receive better treatment if prosecuted for fraud. Effective compliance and ethics, however, appear to be limited to activities focused on complying with the firms’ internal legal and ethical standards. We explored a potential connection between the firms’ external corporate social responsibility (CSR) behaviors and internal compliance: Is there an organizationally valid relationship between these two firm activities? That (...) is, when organizations demonstrate CSR with behaviors external to the firm, such as employee volunteerism, are their employees more likely to demonstrate uncompromised legal and ethical compliance behavior internally? We collected data from 164 working professionals enrolled in a top-tier MBA program in the southeastern United States regarding their employer-sponsored volunteer activities and their intentions to comply in various organizational compliance vignettes. We found that employer-sponsored volunteerism is associated with uncompromised compliance choices in one of the three vignettes. This finding indicates preliminary support for further inquiry into the relationship within the firm between external CSR behaviors and policies regarding organizational compliance. Post hoc analyses suggest that employer-sponsored volunteerism is strongly associated with a positive organizational identity, but organizational identity is not associated with the significant compliance vignette. This evidence suggests that the underlying mechanism that connects external CSR behaviors and internal compliance intentions is complex and requires future study. (shrink)
A general framework for analysing the effects of variability and the effects of interruptions on foraging is presented. The animal is characterised by its level of energetic reserves, x. We consider behaviour over a period of time [0,T]. A terminal reward function R(x) determines the expected future reproductive success of an animal with reserves x at time T. For any state x at a time in the period, we give the animal a choice between various options and then constrain it (...) to follow a background strategy. The best option is the one that maximizes expected future reproductive success. Using this framework, we show that sensitivity to variability in amount of energy gained is logically distinct from sensitivity to variability in the time at which food is obtained. We also show that incorporating interruptions results in both a preference for variability in time and a preference for a reward followed by a delay as opposed to the same delay before the reward. (shrink)